This study is based upon the author's extensive field work among the peasants in the rural areas of Bangladesh. It deals with the problems facing the rural population due to scarcity of land and work opportunities. Different chapters take up the various ways in which ownership of land changes, and how those without land have to compete on the job market and for obtaining land on a sharecropping basis. The book describes and analyzes the various economic strategies that the rich and poor peasants pursue, and the complex nature of the relationship which exists between them. It discusses why patron-client relationships as a form of alliance between rich and poor peasants are a more typical form of adaptation than alliances based on class interests.
Eirik G. Jansen has been a research fellow at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway since 1975. From 1976-78, he was a Visiting Scholar Scholar at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. He has served as a consultant to internatioal agencies and bilateral donors during the last 10 years in bangladesh. He started to conduct research on the country boat sector in Bangladesh in the late 1970s and he was the Project Manager of the Norwegian/Dutch financed Country Boat study. His publishes work include: Rural Bangladesh: Competition for Scarce Resources (Norwegian University Press/Oxford University Press/UPL, Dhaka, 1987). He was a co-author of Rural Poverty in bangladesh: A Report to the Like-minded Group (North South Institute, Ottawa, 1985), and Bangladesh Country